tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 1, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PST
urses for you. call 1-855-999-1399 or visit exelonpatchoffer2.com. at legalzoom, we've created a better place to handle your legal needs. maybe you have questions about incorporating a business you'd like to start. or questions about protecting your family with a will or living trust. and you'd like to find the right attorney to help guide you along, answer any questions and offer advice. with an "a" rating from the better business bureau legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. good saturday afternoon to you, i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. 31 days until we reach the fiscal cliff and 14 days until the house is scheduled to go to
recess and leaders on the hill and in the white house are using words like stalemate, impas, radical and scrooge. we'll go behind the silly terms of the debate and also take you through all the sticking points holding back that will do one-by-one over the next three hours. we start today with the very latest move by democratic leader nancy pelosi who is threatening a power play move to force a vote on extending middle class tax cuts. this morning, president obama also pushed away republican senator orrin hatch called his proposal, radical. >> it's unacceptable for some republicans in congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the we weltmist americans. >> what he proposed this week is a classic bait and switch on the american people. a tax increase doubled the size of what he campaigned on.
>> joining me now nbc news white house correspondent mike viqueira. mike, let's talk about this thing. this is the time the lawmakers are breaking out the rule book to find some tricks. how does pelosi think she can force a vote on middle class tax cuts? >> it's funny, craig, the president visited the tinker toy factory yesterday but he's not playing around, that is for certain. his opening bid delivered by tim geithner the treasury secretary on thursday up on the hill was such a one-way document as far as republicans were concerned that the republican leader of the senate broke out in a burst of laughter when he saw $1.6 trillion in new revenues, principally from taxes on the wealthiest americans. that's, obviously, something the president ran on. but something as you saw there from orrin hatch and speaker john boehner that has been rejected. so, the senate has passed a bill that follows the president's wishes that extends the bush era tax cuts for the bottom 98%, but does not extend them for the top
2%. those couples filing jointly making more than $250,000 a year. so, it's past the senate and gone no where in the republican-controlled house. what are the options available? nancy pelosi digging into the playbook as you reported with something called a discharge petition. if a majority of the members of the house sign this petition, then the speaker of the house, of the majority party, of course, is forced to put something on the floor that he does not want to put on the floor. i have to tell you, craig, sort of a hail mary and it hasn't worked for ten years when mccain feingold was put on the floor of the house by virtue of the fact that they had a discharge position. it has been tried hundreds of times in the past 100 years. it very seldom works. you can see now, democrats trying everything nay can do. putting on public pressure like the president did yesterday in a campaign-style event outside philadelphia and playing the inside game with these procedural tactics on capitol hill. bottom line, they're going to have to get together, john boehner and president obama and
work this out together. that's the only way, craig. >> mike viqueira i love us when y you. republicans want specific cuts laid out in exchange for tax increases. today's "wall street journal" features an interview with mitch mcconnell providing some fresh clearly on a plan that he would like to see emerge telling the paper that he'd agree to hire medicare premiums for the wealthy and increase in the medicare eligibility age and slowing costs of living increases for social security. let's dig in now with molly ball, national political reporter for "atlantic" and also lynn sweet, washington bureau chief of "chicago sun-times." ladies, good afternoon. >> hello to you. >> molly, senator dick durbin saying right here on tuesday on "morning joe" that he could see $400 billion, at least $400 billion in entitlement cuts.
is that going to be as hard of a sell to the left as raising rates will be to the right? >> in a word, yes. there are a lot of democratic groups right now really pushing for no changes to entitlements and no cuts to entitlements, medicare, social security and also medicaid is a big concern for a lot of unions, a lot of progressive groups who are really trying to push the democrats to hold their ground on this. however, the administration has signaled they could be open to some kinds of changes, potentially the kind of stuff that mitch mcconnell is talking about. i think what we're seeing is that the president's negotiating strategy sort of starting to have an effect. democrats saying we're not going to budge until we get specifics from you and the republicans starting to cough up a few of those specifics now. >> lynn, polls, of course, show public opinion. with the democrats on this one, when it comes to raising the medicare age, for example, a recent "washington post" poll found that more than two-thirds of folks in this country are
opposed to that idea. beyond the bluster, both sides acknowledge that changes to entitlements will have to be part of any deal. how are they going to get the public to swallow the medicine, if you will? >> well, i think the answer will be, first of all, give the public their tax breaks, give them that. that's the big message of the democrats. and i think what we're looking at is a matter of also the sequence that these things happen. so when we talk about, craig, how will the public accept this, one, let people keep their own money first. that's a big part of the selling point and it is a lot of work to get anyone to give up anything or perceive change value. in the lifetimes of many of us, even the retirement age has changed. when you were born, it might have been 65. it's not that today. durbin, when he talked about s his -- some of the entitlement changes he may be open to and it's mainly medicare that we're talking about, he did raise a
concern a few days ago that if you change the medicare age, how do people bridge that gap? once you lose your employer-based health insurance, if you retire or, if in this troubled economic times, you get laid off when you're elder. that has to be answered first. >> molly, republicans rejected the president's initial offer this week. there was apparently some laughter in the room from mitch mcconnell. according to "wall street journal" the white house now says it will not even make a new off er until the gop changes it opposition to tax rates. meanwhile, another republican has signaled that he would compromise on taxes. if democrats cut entitlements. this is what senator roy blunt said yesterday. take a listen. >> are you open to voting for some type of compromise that would increase marginal tax rates? >> yeah, i think i'm unlikely to do that. if we had real long-term entitlement reform that would
off set the negative economic impact of raising tax rates, that's something to talk about. and that's the deal. >> so, there's a senator there, molly, we know this game is mainly playing out in the house, but here we have another prominent republican saying that he would support tax increases, not just revenues from closing loopholes. is the paradigm shift, is it now on full display? >> i think it is gradually happening. we have had a few republicans in the house led by tom cole the other day starting to say that they, too, see a way forward for raising rates and, so, even though we're hearing terms like stalemate and the two sides still seem quite far apart and we're not seeing any movement, i think what we're seeing is an acknowledgment by the republicans of the very difficult spot they are in. the almost total lack of leverage that they have and they don't like it and you can see them squirming and being angry
at the white house's holding fast and refusing so far to make any concessions. but they don't have a lot of choices here. and i think you're starting to see them peel off one by one. >> molly ball, lynn sweet, we'll see you a little bit later in the hour, ladies. thank you so much, appreciate your time. thank you. overseas new demonstrations in egypt as hardline islamists rallied in support of mohamed mor morsi. today's rallies meant to counterprotest protests in the past week. morsi has been facing wide-spread unrest over that decree that expands his presidential powers. nbc jim maceda is in cairo for us on this saturday. jim, these morsi reforms were to be a test of his strength of the muslim brotherhood strength. how did they do? >> well, you're right. this was a crucial day for president morsi and his muslim brotherhood supporters. they needed a massive turnout
today at that rally kind of to stem the momentum of the opposition, which, as we have reported, has seen hundreds of thousands of secular, moderate egyptians, leftists, christians all turning out in that iconic tahrir square on at least two occasions this past week alone. and which tonight, by the way, is continuing its ten-city occupation of the square. but today really did belong to morsi supporters. their show of support was very big in the tens of thousands, perhaps 100,000 or more outside cairo university and had the feeling of a political rally. waving flags, carrying banners and chanting slogans and some clashes between pro and anti-morsi groups, but up in alexa alexandria, not in cairo. overall, very peaceful. the muslim brotherhood much more focused on politics than on protests, craig. it wants to see that ratification of the new draft constitution, which the opposition says is invalid and was rushed through that all
islamist committee. it wants to see it out there and voted on as soon as possible. morsi received a copy of the draft of that constitution at a ceremony this evening and in the days ahead, it may be even tonight he could announce a nationwide referendum and a date as early as mid-december. craig? >> nbc jim maceda, our man on the ground in cairo. jim, we'll come back to you later. thank you, sir. coming up, a republican lawmaker calls out her own party for its woman problem. tennessee congresswoman marsha blackburn will join me in a few minutes. just weeks before christmas, president obama took his fiscal cliff toy factory. up next, how the fiscal cliff debate affects your wallet, your business or your favorite toys for that matter. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. ♪
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>> if congress does nothing, every family in america will see their income taxes automatically go up on january 1st. everybody here will see their taxes go up on january 1st. i am assuming that doesn't sound too good to you. that's sort of like the lump of coal you get for christmas. that's a scrooge christmas. >> president obama warning workers what would happen if congress does nothing to avert the impending fiscal cliff. the president was at the factory of kinex toys. let's get some insight on that
visit from someone who was there. michael is the president and ceo of kinex. >> good morning. >> president obama said a fam of four's taxes could go up. what impact does that have? >> it's fantastic to have the president our endorser in chief. when you remove that discretionary income and toys are a discretionary purchase as are other things. you are having some potential impact on the entire economy. obviously, toys and other things, as well. >> the president's plan calls for raising the tax rates on americans earning $250,000 or more. most republicans remain dead set against the president's plan. >> that's true. i think, though, we have to take a look at the larger context. the larger context is we have a math problem.
we have $2.5 trillion that we're taking in every year on the federal government and $3.5 trillion that we're spending. so, we're going to need a balanced approach of both revenue and spending cuts to teat there. so, that's what the president has been talking about and certainly something i can support. >> "the wall street journal" today senior administration officials say the white house not making any new offers until republicans change their opposition to raising top tax rates in this country. as a businessman, that would be directly affected by an impasse like that, as would millions of americans. how do you feel about that? >> how i feel, i'm 100% confident we'll resolve the fiscal cliff pretty much a day or two before christmas. what is happening now the public posturing that has to happen in a negotiation so that each side can make their base happy as people move to the middle. once they get behind closed doors and recognize that they have enough good ideas on the table, they'll pick the best ones of those and meet somewhere in the middle to get us
somewhere between where the president started and where the republicans would like to end up. i think that's what the american people want. i think what the president has tried to do is make sure that the american people understand what the impact will be if we don't reach a solution and, therefore, he's using that outside end strategy which he didn't use last time, which i'm glad he's using this time. >> we should note here for our viewers that you are a campaign contributor. you donated to the obama campaign. before we get out of here, i want your thoughts that the president is anti-business. a label that he has had to wear for some time now. what do you make of that? >> i don't know where that comes from. our whole business has only done better each of the last four years. i think that perhaps as a communication issue, obviously, that's part of the job of the president and his team to communicate. certainly we came through a large fiscal crisis and there was this debate of who was responsible, was it wall street, who was it? we could have that debate another day. i think right now where we are, the consumers are, their confidence is an all-time high.
you reported on that the other day and we're seeing that in our business so if we can focus on the solutions, we can unleash the virtuous cycle we have started on. how we can do better together rather than go this tick talk back and forth of who is to blame in the past. >> appreciate your insight tonight, sir. we appreciate that. you're more than just a toymaker. >> we try to be. thank you, craig. deadly bus crash in miami this morning near the airport. the latest details on that in just a few moments. first, though, folks are pointing out a lack of female leadership in the house and it's not just democrats crying foul. republican congresswoman marsha blackburn has, she has been crying foul, as well. she'll join me up next. you're watching msnbc. [ male announcer ] humana and walmart have teamed up
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house speaker john boehner appointed miller after days of criticism about a lack of female leadership in the house gop. all but one republican committee chair has been filled and so far, there they are right there. 19 of the committee leaders, 19 of 20 are men. before congresswoman miller was appointed. republican representative from tennessee marsha blackburn represented some disappointment in her party. >> i would like to have thought that we could have had women chairman, but the fact that this is kind of the way it has turned out as a vote, i think what we have to do is just continue to highlight the well qualified women that are in our conference. >> we have a congresswoman to hang out with us on a saturday afternoon. we appreciate you being here.
also we should note, a published author, as well. it is a book of women and leadership. let's start there. how do you feel about the fact that this is the only committee to be given a female chair person? >> well, first of all, candace miller was named chairman because she deserves it. she has earned the right to hold that gavel and be that, be that chairman i'm tremendously proud of her. now, one of the things we need to see whether it's a democrat or a republican is more women who are participating in the elective office process. you know, craig, this is not just a republican issue, it's a democrat issue and it's an issue for women who want to run for public office. look at the inner parliamentary counsel research. when you look globally at all the countries, we rank 80 of them. >> why is that? >> women elected to -- >> why is that? >> that is a great question. and so much good research that has been done on it. many times it's because women
aren't, they don't raise as much money as men, they don't raise it as quickly. they don't have the opportunity to have those stepping stones and mentorships into what has been primarily a men's domain. look, it's not only politics. it's not only elective office. look at what happens in the corporate world. >> true. >> you know, we don't have as many women as we should have. holding seats on boards in public corporations. and it seems that where women excel is in the small business sector. >> yeah. >> and when they're coming into the not for profit sector, those are domains where women seem to get more of a level playing field and where they do excel. >> congresswoman, this past election, of course, some comments made by some house republicans forced the party to talk about legitimate versus ileg ilegitimate rape and transvaginal procedure for women seeking an abortion. this is what senator claire mu
casical said on hardball this week. >> i think the republican party has a problem with women. this has never been a controversial provision. how dare the house of representatives sit on that legislation? >> there is a core of the republican party that wants to drag this country to the edge of the world. >> now, i know you're going to say that the gop does not have a problem with women. i know you're going to say that, but how troubling is the perception even that the gop has a problem with women? >> well, definitely. the gop does not have a problem with women and what we are concerned about is making certain that what we do is have legislation and an approach and communicate a message that is going to say, look, let's address the long-term problems, the systemic problems we have here in our country. some of us have worked very diligently on the violence
against women's act. we continue to put emphasis on that. just to point to that one example, just as we're working as hard on addressing the fiscal issues, you know, craig. i mean, the house has done its work. we've passed legislation dealing with the tax extenders, with the sequester. we think that it's, you know, it's about time that the president and some of the democrats started paying attention to this and we hope that they're going to join us. >> we're going to -- >> in getting the fiscal house in order. >> we'll have to leave it right there. republican congresswoman from tennessee, again, author of "life equality" about women in leadership. when we get you back here next time, the coaching situation at ut. i'm sure you have some thoughts on that, as well. >> we could have a great conversation on that. >> thank you very much, appreciate your time, congresswoman. the very latest on a developing story that we're watching in kansas city and what appears to be, at this point, a murder/suicide involving an nfl
player. we'll talk about that. plus, at the end of the day this fiscal cliff debate will come down to two men. the speaker of the house and the president of the united states dealing one-on-one. we will go behind closed doors and into the war room. you are watching msnbc, the place for politics. can i help you?
supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ we are watching a developing story in kansas city, missouri, right now. this is what police say appears to be a murder/suicide involving a 25-year-old nfl player. the murder involved the player's girlfriend at a house. a few minutes later, he committed suicide in a parking lot near the kansas city chief's arrowhead stadium. at this point police are not releasing the name of the chief's player who was involved. let's go ahead and take a quick look at some of the other stories making news right now. two people are dead after a tour
bus crashed into an overpass. three others were taken to the hospital. they are in critical condition, we're told. police say the driver was not familiar with the area. more wet weather is expected along the west coast today. drenching rain and strong winds have knocked out power to thousands, delayed flights and flooded many roadways in northern california. heavy rain is expected in washington state and oregon today. violent protests. the inauguration of mexico's new president earlier today. take a look at this. more than 2,500 people took to the streets of mexico city, just a few blocks where the new president was to be sworn in. three protesters were hurt and one student is reportedly in critical condition. demonstrators accusing of using bribery to win the election there. those protests were eventually
dispersed and as you can see there, the new president has been sworn in. let's bring in telmundo's jose to talk more about this. how much of this is with the revolutionary party? >> well was in power for 72 years until the year 2000 when they lost their election there. 12 years later they go back in power but this is a new face. he's 46 years old and married to a soap opera star and he's young, energetic and he's sharp and he's media friendly. i think a lot of the people are really upset about the possibility that the old precorruption, not really democratic in nature will come back. but, you know what, craig, a lot of problems in mexico is confronting these next six years. even though it has a 4.2% growth pattern as far as a country, there are two different mexicos. an incredibly poor mexico and then a very large middle class that is growing.
it has oil, it has a lot of natural resources and it's part of nafta. so, it's a country that could very easily step up towards the new millennium with growth and opportunity and they are really dragging a lot of issues from the past and i think a lot of these people are hoping that this past doesn't catch up with the new party and the new president. >> telmundo jose, always a pleasure. thank you. >> thank you. with exactly a month until the country pitches over the fiscal cliff, discussions between lawmakers seem to be stuck in the mud. friday the president warned republicans, warned the republicans may be wrapping boxes of coal for middle class families. while house speaker john boehner said the white house proposal has created an impasse. >> if congress does nothing, every family in america will see their income taxes automatically go up on january 1st.
that's sort of like the lump of coal you get for christmas. >> there's a stalemate. let's not kid ourselves. i mean, it's -- it was not a serious proposal. and, so, right now we're almost no where. >> almost no where. joining me now, former dnc communication director and msnbc political analyst karen finney and also senior fellow at the research council ken blackwell. good afternoon to both of you. >> good afternoon. >> ken, let me start with you. do you believe these negotiat n negotiations are at a stalemate or is this just some made for tv drama? >> i think it's made for tv drama and both sides are playing the clock and it's like, unfortunately, it's like a big nfl football game where serious football gets played in the last two minutes. and that's, that's unfortunate because i don't believe at the end of the day they're going to be able to avoid the framework
of sampson bowles. a person that does not advocate we raise taxes when we have this economic sluggishness. but at the end of the day, i think the framework is going to be the package that both sides will settle on because it will not only slightly raise taxes on those making 250 or $500,000, but it will, it will have a ratio of spending cuts to tax increase. >> karen, president obama took his message on the campaign trail, if you will, friday. clearly a different strategy from last year's debt ceiling talks when he spent a lot of time behind closed doors trying to hammer out a deal with speaker boehner. as we move closer to the end of the year, will we see the president go back to working this out with boehner or will we continue to see him out on the trail? >> you know, i think you're going to continue to see both.
let me make a comment about simpson/bowles the president signed into cuts more cuts than what the republicans walked away from. the combination of what is in the 2013 proposed from the president already, again, more cuts and more savings with regard to health care reform. so, in terms of a framework, the president has been very aggressive in putting the plan on the table and the strategy you're seeing is this inside/out stradgy so when people are sitting in those rooms the voice of the american people is much louder than it would otherwise be. again, you heard this from president and from the democrats. we just had an election where most of these issues were adjudicated time and time again. so, for the republicans to be surprised that the president would come back and say, hey, i'm going to do what i said i was going to do, i mean, that's a little bit of theater here. obviously, speaker boehner needs a little bit of runner room here to show that he, he played
hardball and came back and, you know, hopefully delivered for his caucus so we can wind up getting to a deal. >> karen -- >> go ahead. >> i hope, i hope that boehner doesn't go for the head fake. i don't think on the campaign trail the president talked about an unlimited credit card from china. i don't think that -- >> actually, mr. mcconnell proposed himself the idea with congress and the role of the debt ceiling. >> i think that's just crazy. >> ken, well let me ask you this. >> you should take that up with mitch mcconnell. >> you brought in the debt ceiling and that was something in the president's initial offer, this idea that we take the raising of the debt ceiling. we take that power away from congress. what's wrong with that? it would seem to a lot of folks that would be one way to avoid this seemingly constant threat of hijacking the government. >> put us on a very slippery slope towards the plight of
greece and spain and others who basically don't have that check. this whole notion of unlimited credit card is just pure poppycock and it's something that only can be dreamed of as a fiscally responsible thing in washington, d.c. >> but, you know, you still have a process and procedure in terms of the budget where the president proposes a budget and congress is playing a much more significant role in that process. when the time at which the idea of, you know, approving the debt ceiling was when congress was playing less of a role in the budget process. congress is far more engaged in that process. so, i don't think this is about going the way of greece or spain as much as it is, you know, people like to hold on to as much power as long as they think they can. >> karen -- >> ken, take a listen to what tom cole said earlier this week on taxes. take a listen to this. >> in my view we all agree that we are not going to raise taxes
on people who make less than $250,000. we should take them out of this discussion right now. >> did tom cole there, did he give speaker boehner more negotiating room by moving to the left of him? >> i really don't think so. look, the science and numbers of this are on the side of boehner and those who basically say at a time of a sluggish economy, you don't raise taxes, particularly on entrepreneurs who are in that group who make 250 and above. >> give me two studies on that, ken. give me two studies that support what you just said that have not been disproven time and time again. >> let me give you a study in world history. capital seeks the path for least resistance and greatest opportunity. there is a trillion dollars that people are sitting on and unless the government under the threat of use of arms are going to take that money from them. they must give them a reason to invest that reason here in this economy. i don't need to do a study, it is just a behavioral fact over
the history of capitalism in this country. that people and capital seeks the path of least resistance and greatest opportunity. >> you get the last word. >> the problem with what mr. bla blackwell is saying. trickle down economics has not worked. plenty of data to show that that is not the case in terms of our economy. trickle down economics does not work. we're talking about a tax break for everybody, 100% of people up to $250,000. we're asking the top 2% to pay their fair share, we're also talking about getting more money infused into the middle class and that is, those are the people who are spending the money in our economy that that is the real engine of growth here. it's not about, you know, people at the top, hiring more, you know, gardner s and suvers. >> $84 billion. that's all it produces. that's a week and a half. >> love to have you guys back at
some point. >> ken, i want to thank you for using the word poppycock. >> that's a sign of age. >> tax cuts, entitlements and the fiscal cliff. the president says it could all be a lump of coal. lump of coal and all in our stockings. we'll talk to the chief democratic deputy in the house. that's coming up. you're watching msnbc. no poppycock here. need to go to a department store counter to treat your toughest skin concerns? join the counter revolution and switch to olay pro-x to see results in 28 days. anti-aging results so you look up to 12 years younger. reduce the look of pores and fight red acne for clearer skin get cleansing results as effective as a $200 system no matter what your skincare issues you'll see results in 28 days guaranteed join the counter revolution with potent, professional, pro-x. ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose
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today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. new demonstrations in cairo supporting egypt's morsi. counter the anti-morsi protests. at issue, granting himself wide-ranging presidential powers. bring in an egyptian-american journalist who has worked extensively in the middle east and currently based here in new york. good afternoon to you. first of all, let's start what part or parts of the president decree are egyptians most concerned with?
>> egyptians are most concerned with the fact that president morsi removed most checks and powers against him that could stand up against him and he basically dissolved the judiciary and basically gave himself more powers than jose mubarak had during his 30 years in power. >> based on what we knew about mohamed morsi, how much of a surprise was this? >> well, you know the concern all along was that the muslim brotherhood were in this to grab power. basically mohammed morsi has lived down to the worst of the expectations. at the end of the day, as you said in your run up to this. this is about egypt and freedom. we have a revolution that continues for freedom and dignity. we did not have this revolution so that we could create a new dictator and this is why people are opposing what morsi did. >> morsi gave an interview to "time" magazine this week. an exclusive interview and this is just an excerpt from it. what i can see now is the egyptians are free. it's their right to express and
to raise their voices and express their feelings and attitudes. but it's my responsibility, i see things more than they do. what does that even mean? >> so heavily invested in this revolution and loves this revolution, i find his words incredibly insulting to the revolution and its spirit of removing, basically, his daddy figure. morsi is basically saying i'm your daddy and what egypt has been saying since we started this election, we don't need a daddy, we need a president. >> how do you think this will play out in your country? >> i'm incredibly optimistic, craig. someone has compared the revolution to teaching someone who has not learned how to read or write. egypt will be free whether it's a muslim brotherhood president or christian president. regardless of who is our president, we will be free because this is what our revolution is about. >> i commented on your hair and i said, wow, i love the fact that your hair matches your top and you dropped a bombshell on
me. i think you should share with our viewers the story behind the hair. >> well, last year in november doing pivotal between the revolutionaries and the police egypt riot police broke both my arms and sexually assaulted me. once my bones healed i would dye my hair red and get a tattoo on both arms and celebrate survival and we will be here pink hair, red hair, whatever hair, we will be free. >> i certainly hope you come back and continue to provide some insight for us. so enjoyed having you. i know you're back to cairo in a couple weeks, safe travels. >> thanks so much. >> thank you. coming up, what went right for the obama campaign? we don't usually ask that question a whole lot around these parts, but straight ahead, new revelations on what david axelrod himself found surprising about the way 2012 turned out. details on that after the break. this is msnbc. why do toys for tots and hasbro
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more politics now as david axelrod opens up about what went right and wrong during the past election. axle rod says a couple things surprised him during the race. the big one, romney's decision to pick congressman paul ryan as his running mate. axle rod also says that he was surprised the pro-romney super pacs waited so late to launch attack ads. the romney campaign should have done a better job defining their candidate instead of leaving a vacuum for the obama campaign to fill in, they filled it in pretty early. molly ball, national political reporter for "the atlantic." lynn sweet, chief for "chicago sun-times." you wrote about this and you also say that the obama campaign is engaging supporters about how to move forward. even conducting a post-election survey of sorts. what do you know?
>> we know that more than one million of the supporters answered it and we already know that this big obama army is working on fiscal cliff matters where they're sgogoing to be, t are mobilized to help support the president's plan to get the tax breaks in first, but we're learning history, finally. we're getting it in the first david alex raxlerod is talking he never thought that paul ryan would be the vice president pick. >> who did he think? >> he thought it would be rob portman to help in ohio or tim pawlenty. he never thought ryan because that would introduce medicare into the political conversation and distract romney from his main message of the economy. that's why he thought he never would pick him and, of course, he did, and, of course, it did change the romney mesage for a while. >> the president, molly ball, the president could be making a
major decision as early as next week by making his announcement for secretary of state. secretary of state, specifically. ambassador susan rice, a frontrunner, considered by many. some gop senators are, however, continue to threaten to hold up that domination. is this even a fight that the gop would want to engage in right now? >> it's certainly seems to be. we haven't seen any cooling down in the anger of a lot of republican senators, particularly john mccain and lindsey graham and also some others. you know, what we saw this week is susan rice trying to make herself more palatable to these republican senators by seeking these meetings with several of them and all of them came out of these meetings more troubled than when they went in, even people such as susan collins of maine, who is known as a moderate and didn't seem to have a particular ax to grind on the whole benghazi thing going into that meeting. even, you know, a week ago mccain making some more
conciliatory noises and now back where he started very opposed to this nomination saying kerry would be okay, but absolutely not susan rice. so, the administration will have a fight on their hands. >> but you would think that sheer optics of this would be enough to dissuade some members of the gop. you have a bunch of old white guys spending a couple days bashing, bashing a fairly popular black woman on national television for days. you would think all things considered at this point, lynn sweet, that they might have some second thoughts about that. >> well, maybe. what i hear from the administration, though, they are going to announce their national security picks as a package defense because we know leon panetta wants to leave and state maybe some changes over in the national security apparatus at the white house. so, maybe the white house is also thinking that if they have a bunch of potential conif confirmations in the pipeline, the republicans can only
complain so much. every indication we've had so far is that obama is willing to have that fight for susan rice. the reason is, she goes back to almost day one with the obama presidential campaign and came out of the clinton administration and was one of the first big catches who was not for hillary clinton back in the primary, barack obama remembers. >> molly ball, before i let you guys get out of here. if this thing does play out like some does suspect and john kerry ends up getting nominated to run the pentagon, that makes for a very interesting senate race in the state of massachusetts, once again. >> maybe, maybe not. what people keep forgetting in all of this is that the massachusetts legislature is run by democrats who could always just change the law back so that there's not a special election and it becomes an appointment, again. yes, some dominos falling in massachusetts if senator kerry gets that post, particularly if there is an election, which is the state of the law right now.
scott brown expected to run for it and about as strong a republican as you can get in the state of massachusetts. >> molly ball, thank you so much. lynn sweet, one of my favorite ladies. lynn, i did not get to ask you about your jesse jackson, but i would encourage folks to read on what you wrote over gesjesse jackson jr. over the past week or so. some very insightful reporting. 31 days out to the fiscal cliff. we will go live to see what the president is saying to house leaders and whether that will keep us any further away from the edge. also, how did the president capture the latino vote? was it as simple as embracing immigration reform or was it something else? we'll talk about that, as well. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. ♪